The World is Full of Worlds

Music is its own world. You can learn the history of music, the great composers, the different kinds of instruments, musical theory, endless techniques and forms. Music has its own vocabulary, its own pantheon, its own culture. You could spend your whole life exploring the world of music and never run out of things to learn

The same could be said of biology, or physics, or any of the other sciences. Or gardening, cooking, mathematics, wine tasting, computer programming, creative writing. I’ve even heard rumors of people obsessed with something called “sports.”

This is no surprise. We all know these worlds exist.

But the examples above are all fairly mainstream and obvious. What really fascinates me (Betsy and I have talked about this a lot) is that everything has its own world. Not just well-known, “normal” stuff. Every. Thing. Pick any topic, no matter how obscure, no matter how specific, and you’ll find an entire community, an astoundingly sophisticated network, with its own language, its own beliefs, its own history and arguments and sub-groups and pecking order.

Tug any loose thread, and you’ll find something bizarre, beautiful, and bigger than you ever dreamed. (And probably a subreddit.) The world is full of worlds.

On Monday Tuesday I’ll explore some of those worlds in more detail.

3 responses to “The World is Full of Worlds

  1. I was walking down 33rd Street in Manhattan years ago, by the freight entrance to Madison Square Garden, and there was a line of flatbed trucks moving in, each carrying a huge, colorful truck with enormous tires. I think they were the “monster trucks” you hear about on the radio.

    There was a big crowd of people, held back by police barricades, cheering their favorite trucks. Not the drivers, who weren’t there, just the big, brightly-colored vehicles.

    It was a little glimpse into one of those worlds you’re talking about.

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